Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Provo Utah Central Stake Organ

Note: This post is one in a series that focuses on LDS architecture that is not historic, but that departs from standard cookie-cutter plans to become unique and beautiful in a different way. To see all of these posts, click here.

The Provo Utah Central Stake Center is a normal Church building, which is why this is labeled as a "Modern Architecture" post.

(Source: Google Maps)

However, it does has a stunning organ, named the "Opus 16." It was made by the Bigelow & Company organ builders.


This is the view from the organ itself:


I found a brief history on the organ. In late 1985 the Church contracted the Bigelow Company for an organ that was "patterned after the type that Johann Sebastian Bach played."



Its purpose was to "serve the musical needs of the Church, enhance the cultural life of the community, and continue the Church's pioneer legacy of providing beauty for future generations."


You'll notice that across the top of the organ are the words "Glory to God in the Highest."



The organist faces away from the congregations, so the two little squares open to reveal mirrors so that they can see the conductor.


Directly above the keyboard is the inscription, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart... D&C 25:12."


This organ is a true pipe organ. The organist pulls a small lever that forces wind through the pipes. I played it for a bit, and it feels very different from an electronic organ, which is all I've ever played up to this point.


 The organ history stated that "by 1995, organists from 38 states and 14 foreign countries had visited the organ because of its uniqueness in an LDS meeting house." I'm glad the Church went out of its way to get this organ. It really adds a lot to the spirit of the chapel.

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